Reach out today to learn more, and let our team of MBB consultants take your team’s executive communication to the next level! It concentrates instead on the thinking process that should precede the writing. "The pyramid dictates a rigid set of sub structures that can serve to speed the discovery process. Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principle. Use the Pyramid Principle to have your key takeaway land home with your target audience. However, when interacting with clients where you’ve already built trust up over time, leading with your proposed solution first can be very effective in framing the rest of your conversation. Structural order: break a singular thought into its parts, ensuring that you have covered all of the major supporting ideas. It just so happens that the magic number of ideas in a group is three (see my Rule of 3 post). Intrapersonal communication Within a single person ­ self­communication ­> encoding & formulating of a message / thinking process. Group and summarize your supporting arguments. “Ideas at any level in the … Ready to take your team’s performance to the next level? Pyramid Principle Learn More. That’s where the Pyramid Principle comes in. The McKinsey Minto Pyramid Principle for communicating complex topics easily. We recommend following the Minto Pyramid Principle. MECE Learn More. Underneath the single thought, group and summarize the next level of supporting ideas and arguments. The concept even goes beyond just talking to executives. For many people, it’s natural to build up to a conclusion by first reciting all of the facts, recounting all of the analyses that have been done, or reviewing all of the supporting ideas. The Pyramid Principle is not just valuable for communicating with executives, but really it’s effective to communicate with anyone whom you wish to persuade with argument. I confirm that I am not an EU citizen or downloading this from an EU territory. This still begs the question, though — how do you get to the point, and how do you do it in an engaging way? We often had to crisply present a recommendation to busy executives. Download our free Pyramid Principle Applied Guide, Types of Leadership: Position vs Influence, The 3 Levels of Effective Communication Skills Training, Give main supporting arguments as opposed to details, Back up supporting arguments with data points. "The intrapersonal level refers to the processing of information on an individual basis In situations where it is the first time you are interacting with an audience, and you don’t have pre-built trust, yes. By answering the executive’s question first, you sound more assertive and confident. Chat with our team about a tailored training Schedule Now. Mastering the Pyramid Principle is a critical skill. It starts with the answer first, then gives 3 general supporting reasons why, then multiple more granular details about each reason below that. Then, for each supporting idea or argument, break that further into more ideas or arguments until you have formed a pyramid. Or worse yet: do you willfully ignore it? Typically, executives think big-picture and “top-down.” What is the big picture? The chart above shows this graphically. Yet, when communicating to executives, put yourself in their shoes. The idea is to start with your main idea, and then use logically grouped arguments to support your position. No matter the medium of your presentation – whether a client-facing slide deck, an internal meeting, or a marketing pitch – structuring your thoughts with the Pyramid Principle will help you get your point across clearly and effectively, while staying MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive). Consultants are just skeptical enough to believe that many business … Buckle up for a quick overview of The Pyramid Principle, and more importantly, some key takeaways on why you should implement it into your own presentations. Executives are busy people. What it is all about. approach to structured thinking is one excellent methodology that could help. The Pyramid Principle advocates that “ideas in writing should always form a pyramid under a single thought.” The single thought is the answer to the executive’s question. The Pyramid Principle has a four-part introductory structure: The Pyramid Principle was created by Barbara Minto – the first female post-MBA hire at McKinsey – in the 1970s. You are plainly and directly answering the question that was posed to you. During your next presentation (internal or external), present your findings and overarching recommendation in the Pyramid Principle structure. It was developed in the late 1960s by Barbara Minto at McKinsey & Company and underlies her Minto Pyramid Principle, and is based on ideas going back as far as Aristotle. Put in simpler terms, it starts with asking for what you want, and explaining why you want it. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. In some cases, the executive may already mentally be at the conclusion you want them to reach, in which case she will accept your recommendation and move on (without you having to go into the detailed supporting arguments). Then you get to the punch line. How do you use the Pyramid Principle? The Pyramid Principle advocates that “ideas in writing should always form a pyramid under a single thought.” The single thought is the answer to the executive’s question. That’s where the Pyramid Principle comes in. Perhaps more than ever before, attention is an incredibly rare resource. First, you want to maximize your time with your audience. ️ How the Minto Pyramid Principle was invented. It provides you with an efficient and effective way to communicate. She then started her own company teaching the principle. What other priorities and budgets are you competing with? The Pyramid Principle gives you an opportunity to utilize your time to the maximum while increasing the effectiveness of your message since it uses the top-down communication style. The communication of ideas, whether to colleagues or clients, is one of the key factors in determining personal success. It works equally for internal or external audiences, and regardless of medium or language. If the stakeholder wants to hear your supporting arguments, they’ll ask for the more granular level of data. The pyramid principle was invented by Barbara Minto at McKinsey. Degree order: present supporting ideas in rank order of importance, most to least important. It's saves time and irritation when we formulate in a way the other immediately understands the message. The Pyramid Principle is used the consulting world over – whether during interim internal discussions or executive-level presentations. She based her thinking around ideas ranging from Aristotle’s Rhetoric and other sources on logic throughout history. Haven’t heard of it? ️ How to tell a story that makes your audience care. Not in our speech. 'The Pyramid Principle' shows how to structure and present arguments so that they gain immediate understanding. There are a few different ways of logically ordering ideas that belong in the same group: When combined with the Rule of 3, the Pyramid Principle becomes an extremely powerful structured communication tool for making recommendations to busy executives. That’s what The Pyramid Principle is at its core: a principle that allows you to quickly seize your audience’s attention and communicate with gravitas, by creating a compelling story that is easy to understand and remember. These are: the vertical relationship between points and sub points, the horizontal relationship within a set of sub points, the narrative flow of the introduction." ️ How to make sure your main point is crystal clear in any situation. This “top-down” structure is counter-intuitive for many of us, especially those with a scientific or engineering background used to writing technical papers. The Pyramid Principle® advocates that “ideas in writing should always form a pyramid under a single thought”. Source. The Pyramid … Three Decision Traps, and How to Overcome Them, How to Scale a Magical Experience: 4 Lessons from Airbnb’s Brian Chesky, A Three-Step Framework For Solving Problems , Product Management in Notion: How to Shape Up Without Basecamp. As an entrepreneur, the tool could be what you use to communicate with prospective investors or board members. The Pyramid Principle explained. Executive attention spans are notoriously short – don’t make your point in the first 10 seconds, and you’ve already lost your audience. The technique applies to every type of document in which your purpose is to offer your thinking to a reader – email, 1-page memo, multi-page report, or formal slide presentation. I show you how I map the pyramid principle to a short presentation I created to research the question "how do you manage a millennial?" It works by introducing a thesis statement before going into points and arguments that support it. One of the tools that we used at McKinsey was the Pyramid Principle, a methodology for structured communication. ️ Three rules of structuring your communication. While the concept is straightforward, it’s surprisingly difficult to master. By delivering your recommendation in the “answer first” format, you are fitting into the executive’s mental model and allowing them to quickly process your recommendation. Her concept literally flipped presentations on their head, and her book on the subject is still widely recognized as the standard for communicating concepts and arguments in a logical, well-structured way. Pyramid, Message Stack Campaign Plan, Design Template, Content. Our Pyramid Principle Training consistently gets high marks for engagement and value. This is a seminal concept in executive communication, and has spread like a virus from McKinsey to every other consulting firm worth its salt, including of course Bain and BCG. The Pyramid Principle is a tool used to “organise” or “structure” messages in any communication: it could be a presentation, report, email, or even a … Only then, after you have answered the question, should you present your supporting reasons. The Pyramid Principle is a framework for clear thinking and writing. The MECE principle, pronounced "ME-see", is a grouping principle for separating a set of items into subsets that are mutually exclusive (ME) and collectively exhaustive (CE). It’s applicable anytime you are trying to convey a persuasive argument. They want to focus on the big picture—in this case the “answer”— and don’t want to get bogged down by details. And not in our writing. So why lead with the answer first? Your audience—whether listeners or readers—will naturally begin to group and summarize your arguments and ideas in order to remember them. The Pyramid Principle will show you how to communicate your ideas clearly and succinctly. Das Pyramiden-Prinzip von Minto nimmt an, dass Sie bereits gute Sätze und Absätze schreiben können. Why? The Pyramid Principle starts with the end in mind. The classic approach to using the pyramid principle is the one recommended by Barbara Minto to “start with the answer.” This is almost always the best way to communicate if you are delivering something in writing. What Is the Minto Pyramid Principle? When you group and summarize your supporting arguments, it’s easy to go from the single thought to the next level of ideas without getting too detailed right away. Communicating the thinking requires only that you guide the reader down the pyramid. The image above is shaped like a pyramid. Whether creating written texts or delivering responsive presentations, we formulate too vague, too long and not aligned to the other. The other common objection to the Pyramid Principle is that it is perceived to take away from the authority of the answer or conclusion – the “punchline.” That is a valid concern. The key take-aways from the Pyramid Principle at McKinsey were: To communicate in a structured way with a busy executive, you should start with the answer to the executive’s question first, and then list your supporting arguments. In most cases, we are used to listing a … Basically, the Pyramid Principle is a communication technique that allows you to to structure your points and arguments properly. What if we told you that there’s a better way to create and present your decks? Second, many executives often think in a “top-down” manner. Can’t that be abrasive? It helps personal reflection and organisation. What is the Pyramid Principle? ️ How to structure your communication in a way that’s easy to understand. You can read more about it in her book ‘The Pyramid Principle’. We’re storytellers. You will increase your value to an organization by learning how to apply it. Finally, you want to ensure that the ideas you bring together under each group actually belong together, are at the same level of importance, and follow some logical structure. The Pyramid Principle is used the consulting world over – whether during interim internal discussions or executive-level presentations. Underneath the single thought, you are supposed to group and summarize the next level of supporting ideas and arguments. You’ll be giving your audience what they need in the way that they need it to say yes or no to moving forward. One that will drive action and get you to the most important part of the conversation right away? What is Pyramid Principle. At McKinsey, one of the lessons I learned was the importance of structured thinking and communication. The Minto Pyramid Principle assumes that you already know how to write good sentences and paragraphs. During a discussion about effective communication, a mentor of mine led me to the following book: The Pyramid Principle. The Pyramid Principle offers the advantage of powerful written communication by structuring it logically. The Pyramid Principle advocates that “ideas in writing should always form a pyramid under a single thought.” The single thought is the answer to the question at hand and the supporting arguments are found under. How to get your message across to your reader or listener in a way that he can easily understand what you want to say, how to make it … The Pyramid Principle encapsulates an efficient, functional way of communicating where you deliver key conclusions first and then go on to supply supporting information.. We can use the pyramid principle in many different contexts, but it is particularly crucial to adhere to in delivering your client recommendation at the end of your case study. If you’re interested in learning more, definitely pick up the original book by Barbara Minto. When an executive asked a question — “What should we do?” — you were to start your response with, “You should do X,” very crisply and directly. I saw many examples during my time at McKinsey when the Pyramid Principle was invoked in written and verbal communication to successfully motivate action. The pyramid principle essentially is a methodology to structure your ideas. How You Can Use The Pyramid Principle To Convince Anyone. I would urge you to try out the Pyramid Principle when writing your next proposal, making your next elevator pitch to an investor, or even the next time you respond to an executive’s question. I bet that you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results. They are perpetually short on time, are used to processing lots of information quickly, and get impatient when they feel like someone isn’t getting to the point. Barbara Minto developed the Pyramid Principle while working at McKinsey. As a leader in an organization, you can use the Pyramid Principle to communicate with peers or project stakeholders when you make an important proposal. all situations needing escalation, but not meeting Code Blue criteria. Minto Pyramid Principle, also referred to as the McKinsey’s Pyramid Principle, is a You’re not searching for reasons or words, and you don’t sound like you’re wavering. Barbara Minto's Pyramid Principle is a hierarchically structured thinking and communication technique that can be used to precede good structured writing. Namely, communicating a key takeaway right away can potentially hold your audience’s attention for the entire duration of your article. Delivered in person or virtually, equip your teams with increased effectiveness in their communication. That’s right – today we’re talking about the world-famous Pyramid Principle. 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